I am 37 and the primary caregiver for my 78-year-old dad who has Alzheimer's disease. He lives with me in North Carolina. I realized that my dad had severe dementia after my mom passed away in 2004, and he moved in with me. We have a full-time CNA home health aide, Katie, who stays with dad while I work.
I have a full-time job, a family of my own (including my love, David and his 12-year-old daughter, Jessica), am a volunteer for Meals-on-Wheels and the Lion's Club. I am also working on developing a comprehensive Web site geared to help caregivers.
When dad first came to live with us, I thought my life was over. Then I made a decision. We can let this ruin our lives, or we can fight. At our house, we use Aricept, Namenda and laughter.
I am also writing a blog that shows the lighter side of caregiving and offers tips for caregivers. It forces me to write down one funny thing about my life with dad every single day. That is a very important part of making me a better caregiver.
I am committed to making sure my dad will not suffer from Alzheimer's. And hopefully, those of us who love him will not either.
Kathy's blog: www.KnowItAlz.com